Social Justice Initiative

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

A new initiative has started at Bethlehem. Strengthened by our love for all God’s creation and recognizing the urgency to act, a social justice initiative committee has been established to work for our goal to advance positive change in our church, our community, and our world. We invite all who are interested to participate with this committee—through education as well as action in the myriad issues facing us as Christians in our world today.

Opportunity for Participation

The Social Justice Initiative recently met and discussed some exciting projects for 2022.  We invite everyone to participate with us.  We meet on the 3rd Sunday of every month at 11:30 a.m. on Zoom.  For more information, please contact Jane L (janelahman@hotmail.com) or Margot H (nordatter@gmail.com).

Zoom meeting:
Topic: BLC SJI Monthly Meeting
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81184599825?pwd=WmhMY3I3ZUxoR0lOWnMzMldsaDJjQT09
Meeting ID: 811 8459 9825
Passcode: SJI2022
To dial by phone only: 253 215 8782 
Meeting ID: 811 8459 9825
Passcode: 4026538

Opportunity to Serve

Share the Grace Reformation Celebration

Thank you so much to all the members of Bethlehem who stepped forward and shared their grace with the newly released from the Denver Women’s Prison and the ICE Detention Center in Aurora. As a result of your donations on Sunday, October 31, we collected over 200 backpacks and over 100 reusable water bottles. More than 300 individual snack items were collected as well as two large boxes of toiletries. There were 12 large bags full of clothing for the Reentry Initiative. There were also 17 10-ride bus passes, plus gift cards and cash donations amounting to about $450. Very abundant grace! The Social Justice Committee thanks you so much. Any questions or suggestions, contact Margot H (nordatter@gmail.com).

Hope for the Holidays

Hope for the Holidays is a sponsored by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS). This holiday effort focuses on gathering donations to be used to purchase gifts for children in Family Detention Centers run by ICE.  In addition, LIRS asks participating congregations to send holiday cards with personal messages about the holidays to all detainees in ICE detention centers throughout the country.  Many congregation members stopped by the Christmas Card tables in November to send messages of Hope and support to individuals and families in detention centers.

Thank you all so much! We sent 230 cards of support to LIRS (Lutheran immigration and refugee service) to be distributed before Christmas. (We sent cards in English, Spanish and French.) Thank you to the Sunday school children who made a huge contribution on November 14 by writing cards during Sunday school hour and thanks to all who staffed tables and helped set up and take down. Please continue your care of these people and families through prayer for their courage and stamina in difficult conditions. Your Christmas will be blessed by your thoughtfulness! For more information, contact Mary Jane V (mjvoogt2003@yahoo.com).

Previous Opportunities for Education
 Living Faith: Church in Society

Our first educational opportunity for Bethlehem members to increase awareness of social justice issues was scheduled for 2021; an eight week study from the Rocky Mountain Synod entitled Living Faith: Church in Society. We met Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. the end of April and through May before taking a break for the summer. We plan to pick up again in late September or early October. You can join this study at any time. Missing the first meeting is not critical for the rest of the series; each meeting is self-contained so do not hesitate to join for some or all. Topics include: ELCA Social Statements-Church in Society; Caring for Creation; Economic Life; Immigration; Healthcare; Race, Ethnicity and Culture; and Faith, Sexism and Justice.

Check out the class information at https://www.rmselca.org/living_faith to see what this is all about. If interested in joining the class, please email Margot H (nordatter@gmail.com) or Jane L (janelahman@hotmail.com) to be added to the class contact list.

Class materials to be read before the class meeting (click on the green button to download the paper):
Week 1 April 28, 2021: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Church-in-Society
Week 2 May 5, 2021: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation
Week 3 May 12, 2021: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Economic-Life
Week 4 TBD: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Messages/Immigration
Week 5 TBD: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Health-Care
Week 6 TBD: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Race-Ethnicity-and-Culture
Week 7 TBD: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Criminal-Justice
Week 8 TBD: https://elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Sexism

Additional Information
Information Shared by member:

SJI Reading List
Casa de Paz Information
Information on Border Situation
Reentry Initiative